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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

p. 792 - Camp Cedar campground to open in 2021!

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So, I had intended to write up a full report of my public-opening Saturday trip to Kings Island, but life kinda got in the way and put a stop to that.  So, instead, here's a brief report with some pictures.

I had arrived to the park for a 11:00 opening at around 9:30 and found literally over a hundred cars in front of me behind the locked gates.  Lovely.  Made my way to the front gate; it was good to be back!IMG_20210515_102339728.thumb.jpg.0fe0aed89d8402016c29471ae290e468.jpg

As has been discussed, no temperature tent, just a security guard asking the COVID questions.  Got inside and grabbed my FL+ wristband, and then made my way over to Flight of Fear, knowing that it was the only coaster with limited capacity still and that the line would get insane later in the day.  Passing by, all of the seats have been returned to Wave Swinger.

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Flight of Fear still wasn't letting anyone into the queue, so I took some pictures of Orion's line 6 minutes prior to opening.  Yeesh.

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So they once again re-routed FoF's FL line - you still enter from the exit side, but instead of heading straight up to the inside of the UFO, you now enter into the warehouse with the general queue and then head up into the space ship where they merge.  As you can see, social distancing is a thing of the past.

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After FOF, I went to Racer (red side, retracked parts were awesome, as I mentioned earlier), then Adventure Express (all effects in tunnel, even the lava-tip, were working).  Most ride attendants were super-enthusiastic, interacting with the crowd to a level I haven't seen in...ever, probably.  Grabbed some pretzel bites from the bar near Adventure Express, which were delicious.

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...and then made my way over to Bat, which was good as always.  Does anyone know what these footers to the left of the station were for?

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After Bat, hopped on Banshee...getting a little bit of that B&M rattle in the back row but still awesome.  Rounded back around the front of the park for Diamondback, then Mystic Timbers (snake and "Cars" ending).  Definitely flying once again with a full train, I forgot how fast this was despite getting on it a dozen times last year.  Here was the queue at 2:00 PM:

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After that, hopped on Beast, then had my longest wait of the day:  43 minutes for a Classic and Grilled Cheese Donut at Tom+Chee.  After that, I left the park to go back to the hotel for a bit, and took a drive around the lot to see how packed it was at 4:30  I've kinda drew it on this map, pretty much everything within the red box was full.

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Got back to the park and jumped on Orion.  Pretty much same as last year, a lot of groups self-imposed distancing on the train so I didn't get to experience it with a truly full train.  Then I hopped on Windseeker, and made a lap around the park, hitting Woodstock Express and made my way back to Banshee to find it down.  Two maintenance guys on the bottom of the lift, both on cell phones, is never a good sign:

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Then it was back to Racer, to try for the blue side, but it was closed due to "fireworks setup," so I got another ride on the red side.  Back to Mystic Timbers (bat and "Can't Take my Eyes Off of You" ending), and made my way to back to my #1 coaster here, Beast, to round out the night.  Once they stopped running for the fireworks, like half of the FL line in front of me exited, telling everyone "the rides closed until 10:30" and the rest of us were like "yeah, no shit."  Was able to capture some good video of the fireworks, which have to look awesome from Windseeker.

After the awesome Beast night ride (front row of course), I made my way out of the park and back to my hotel.  Got a good night's sleep, went back to the park in the morning for a Grilled Mac & Cheese from Tom+Chee for breakfast, then started my drive home.  All in all, a great trip....but FL+ really saved me.  Without it, I would've had a lot less fun.  Most major rides were posting 1-2+ hour waits throughout the day, and the food lines were all around insane.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Cedar Fair needs to offer a Fast Lane pass for food service.  I'd easily drop $100-200 for that.

Ride waits, with FL+ (times are from when I enter the queue to getting off the ride):
-Flight of Fear, 26 minutes from opening at 11:00, row 6.
-Racer, red, 25 minutes, front row
-Adventure Express, 16 minutes, front row
-Bat, 36 minutes, back row
-Banshee, 17 minutes, back row left
-Diamondback, 7 minutes, row 2 (outer wing of the front car)
-Mystic Timbers, 12 minutes, back row
-Cup of water from a Refill Station, 11 minutes
-Beast, 27 minutes, front row
-Food from Tom+Chee, 43 minutes
-Orion, 13 minutes, front row
-Windseeker, 15 minutes
-Woodstock Express, 32 minutes, back row
-Racer, red, 13 minutes, row 5
-Mystic, 17 minutes, front row
-Beast, 1 hour 16 minutes (including fireworks shutdown), front row

But wait, there's more!

On my trip home from KI, I always pass by Adventure Park USA, a small FEC with some rides in Monrovia, MD.  They're always closed whenever I happen to pass by.  But not this time!  I saw the Wildcat running, and made a quick detour in.  Notably, there was only one car on the track, and no others were to be seen.  Here's some photos of this survivor.

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Their other adult coaster, a Zamperla Windstorm, wasn't ready for the season yet,

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...so I still need to come back here and grab that credit, but the Wildcat was a very nice bonus.  Fun Fact:  This Wildcat started its life at Busch Gardens Williamsburg way back in 1976, and made its way around including a brief stint at Steel Pier in Atlantic City in the late 90s, before I got into coasters.

Anyway, that's all for this report...tomorrow I leave for a rain-filled Memorial Day Weekend at Cedar Point, with another stop back at KI, mostly for their water park, on Tuesday.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

Bat, 36 minutes, back row

I know you have a non-traditional "wait time" algorithm, but I wonder where the queue starts for you with this one, lol. The walk to the ride is 30 min in itself, I figure a 2 minute ride, so you really only waited 4 minutes lol

The ride isn't even on FL+ right?

Edited by anonymouscactus
I can't spell
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4 hours ago, prozach626 said:

Great report! Those FL+ waits seemed pretty long for KI. I hope that's not a new trend.

Thanks!  I think a lot of the waiting had to do with new employees, but don't get me wrong, the place was packed.

4 hours ago, anonymouscactus said:

I know you have a non-traditional "wait time" algorithm, but I wonder where the queue starts for you with this one, lol. The walk to the ride is 30 min in itself, I figure a 2 minute ride, so you really only waited 4 minutes lol

The ride isn't even on FL+ right?

I know we all like to joke about the hike to nowhere for the ride, but in all seriousness, I started the clock when I entered the start of the queue from the midway, then walked for about 2-3 minutes before hitting people, which was before the second (from the station) cut-out where the exit path meets up.  The lift is also exceedingly slow and possibly 2+ minutes on its own LOL.

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Has anyone been able to get an idea what weekdays have been like? Also school is gunna be out in early June right? Some here were pretty confident FL+ wont be needed for Mon June 7 but these talks of crowds have me on edge ha Mostly with school being out. 

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19 hours ago, JJLehto said:

Has anyone been able to get an idea what weekdays have been like? Also school is gunna be out in early June right? Some here were pretty confident FL+ wont be needed for Mon June 7 but these talks of crowds have me on edge ha Mostly with school 

Park isn't open for daily/weekday operations yet. I'm curious to see how crowded it is as well, I'll probably visit on Tuesday or Wednesday and report back.

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I'll be there this Tuesday and can provide an update as well.

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3 hours ago, prozach626 said:

It will probably be a shit show of less staff and more guests, like most everywhere else.

Eh experiences haven't been so bad so far tbh and I was surprised how not awful the crowds were and how not garbage the staff were at CW and KD. Considering that was a weekend and its Cedar Fair which is getting flak for shitting the bed, so won't be quite so bleak. And if it is well gotta roll w it. 

Thanks all for the upcoming updates! Really it's just so I can determine if FL+ is worth it or not. Last time I went around this time park was dead. But that was earlier (June 2?) it wasn't the pandemic and I think by the 7th school will be out so deff will look forward to the updates. 

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During a week day FL won't sell out so you could just buy it if lines are 30+. I'm hoping we'll only have 15 minute wait times but who knows with this year! There are just sooo many locals and tri-staters with passes coming in full force to see Orion. 

Today will be interesting to watch as it's only a high of 57* it's like a fall day. Let's see if it still hits capacity!

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I'm not going today haha, I'll visit sometime this week. I had a few visits last year and went passholder weekend this year.

Orion is a ton of fun but if you haven't been on it yet I'd recommend you get more than 1 or 2 rides on it. I like it the more I ride it, it's just a really fast coaster so it's over before you know it! Multiple rides allow you to appreciate it more for sure.

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Multiple rides is always the goal! As many as I can ideally. And yeah I got expectations pretty grounded so I'm looking forward to it. Yeah man appreciated! Hope it's well and crowds are not too bad. 

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Just about 5 weeks until my 1st ever visit, and get to knock this bucket list park/coaster (the Beast) off my ever shorter list.

it's gonna be interesting that my 1st time is for Coasterstock, so there will be a lot of ERT, and I'll have to make decisions on what activities during the event to "miss" so I can experience more of the park.

but I *did* just go ahead and purchase FL+ for the Saturday ($116 online). . . for Friday? will just stick to CoasterStock schedule (once released). . but I have a feeling that Sat will be PACKED, and I'm gonna wanna have that FL+ to ride a few things during the day, that are outside of the ERT sessions.  (or, hell, just be able to focus on Non-FL+ rides during ERT, since I'll have the wristband for the day).

 

can't wait!

added bonus is get to hang out with TeacherKim and her son,Joel. . both very cool people.

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@bert425, you're definitely in for a treat with the FL pass.  Pretty much every ride except for Flight of Fear drops you right in the station, and it's easier to list what adult rides *aren't* on the Fast Lane plan than the ones that are.  The rides that arent?
-Bat
-Congo Falls
-Carousel
-Railroad
-Slingshot (upcharge)
-Viking Fury
-Whitewater Canyon
-Woodstock Express
-Xtreme Skyflyer (upcharge)

Yes, every other thrill ride or coaster is included in FL.  It's insane.  Have fun!

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Visited yesterday and despite some worries about getting in the parking lot (traffic on Kings Island Dr was backed up past the Great Wolf Lodge, and this was at 10:15), I had a fantastic 4 hours there.   I so wish Cedar Point’s FastLane was set up like Kings Island’s.  The longest wait I had during my visit was 10 minutes to actually get my FastLane wristband.   I’m sure if I would have eaten at the park that would have been a much higher number though as the food lines were insane.


- Banshee (walk-on FL+): rode during the tail end of early entry.  Someone here mentioned that Banshee is really rattling and I have to agree.  The first drop and Immelmann were pretty janky.  I do love the batwing element and the final inline twist is my favorite part of the ride as it is just taken so slowly.  It’s a decent ride, but I honestly think Raptor is the better B&M invert in Ohio.  Rating 7/10

- Flight of Fear (5 minute wait FL+): speaking of running a bit rattly, FoF was a bit bumpier than I remember.  I was on the first train of the day as they let the FL+ line in first before the regular line entered.  The launch is still intense and twisting through near total darkness is always a blast.  But the stop on the mid course and the bumpy ride keeps it from being a repeat ride for me.  Rating 7/10

- Orion (walk-on FL+): wow.  Full trains REALLY made a difference here.  Orion was really flying compared to my rides last season and I absolutely loved it.  So smooth, so fast, and a killer first drop make this a really solid addition to KI.  Rating 9.5/10

- Mystic Timbers (walk-on FL+): My #1 wood and #1 overall coaster was still running unbelievably well this year.  Mystic Timbers is a completely chaotic, out of control ride that never slows down and launches you off your seat more times than I can count.  In the shed (which we are repeatedly warned not to go in, but we do anyways),  the tree monster attacked on my first ride and the bats swarmed on my 2nd and 3rd rides.  Absolutely love this coaster.  Rating 10/10

- Diamondback (walk-on FL+): I was assigned to row 16 (they were assigning seats on all coasters, I didn’t ask for any special requests so I’m not sure if they were allowing it), and the airtime on this ride in the back is unreal.  Sustained floater airtime on almost every hill, it was spectacular.  I made the mistake of putting my arms out on the splashdown finale, resulting in my back getting a bit damp.  I didn’t care though as Diamondback may have even been better than Orion.  Rating 10/10

- BooBlasters on Boo Hill (3 minutes FL+): I miss Phantom Theater and the Enchanted Voyage.  BooBlasters is alright.  Nothing really stands out as being memorable, but I did end up with 1260 pets. Which I guess is good?  Rating 5/10

- Racer (walk-on FL+): If KI can retrack the return leg of this ride like they did the outbound run, they will have something special here.  This is the best Racer ride I have had in years.  Massive props to the park for taking care of this historic gem.  Rating 7/10

- Adventure Express (5 minutes FL+): The regular line was out to the midway so thank goodness for FL!  I’ve always enjoyed this ride even though the finale after the final lift is such a letdown.  The drummer guys on the final lift all seemed to be working AND had colorful new lighting installed.  Even the “you will pay” guy looks like he got some colored contact lenses.  Nice!  Rating 7/10

- Kings Mills Antique Autos (walk on FL+): I am so glad KI added antique cars back to its lineup a few years back.  The course isn’t anything spectacular, but it is a pleasant diversion and since it’s on FL+, how can you not stop for a quick ride?  Rating: 6.5/10

- Windseeker (one cycle wait FL+, would have been the same without it!): not sure why I like these rides.  There isn’t much to it, but the views are stunning.  Rating: 7/10

- Shake Rattle and Roll (one cycle wait FL+): a KI classic since 1975, this Huss Troika has always been one of my faves at the park.  It is weird not having Vortex in the background though.  Rating: 6.5/10

- Backlot Stunt Coaster (walk-on FL+): when this ride first opened in 2005, I hated it.  I thought it was a complete waste of space and a disgrace to Paramount’s Kings Island to visually destroy such a pretty area of the park.  Now, it’s a can’t miss attraction each time I’m at the park.  Guess I just needed to “get” the ride!  The helix beginning is way more intense than it has a right to be, the flame effects work still (as do the “bullets”!), and the final tunnel seemed much darker than usual.  Fun, smooth, and re-rideable, especially when there is no wait!  Rating: 8/10

- Woodstock Gliders (one cycle wait FL+): while not the park originals, it’s still nice that Kings Island re-introduced a set of Flyers.  They are your typical Larson model and move at a pretty good clip.  The only complaint I have here is that they are located in Planet Snoopy.  Rating: 7/10

overall a tremendous day at one of my favorite parks.  The Beast was closed during my 4 hours there, so I didn’t get to ride, but Mystic Timbers more than makes up for that.  I also think White Water Canyon and Congo Falls were closed.  The temps never got past 60 while I was there, so that might explain it!  Can’t wait to go back, even with the 8 hour round trip drive!  

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Sounds like an awesome trip, and great that the FL+ is still awesome this year. Looking forward to my visit this weekend. I'm so hyped for Holiwood Nights I had to just reminded myself I booked a hotel outside Kings Island to visit all day on Sunday with FL+. So stoked! Thanks for sharing your report.

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Bert, reading your TR's throughout the years, I think you will really like the combination of subtle charm and kick ass rides. I hope the carrousel lives up to your standards!

 

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^ oh, I noticed right away that it's not on Fast Lane +  😛

but it IS on one of the evening ERTs. . . so I'll get multiple rides on it, LOL

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1 hour ago, anonymouscactus said:

Sounds like an awesome trip, and great that the FL+ is still awesome this year. Looking forward to my visit this weekend. I'm so hyped for Holiwood Nights I had to just reminded myself I booked a hotel outside Kings Island to visit all day on Sunday with FL+. So stoked! Thanks for sharing your report.

Nice! Enjoy Holiwood Nights. Superb event, and it links so naturally with a KI visit. 

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This is more like it! Unlike my last trip here, where I was way down the block.IMG_20210601_094427938_HDR.thumb.jpg.b56e0c329bddcbf933d8dfa747b1d2e1.jpg

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30 minutes ago, Mike240SX said:

This is more like it! Unlike my last trip here, where I was way down the block.IMG_20210601_094427938_HDR.thumb.jpg.b56e0c329bddcbf933d8dfa747b1d2e1.jpg

Can you report back on crowds around 1:00? I'm arriving around 1:30-2, have to decide on the fly whether to get FL+ or not. Just want to make sure I have time for a couple rides each on Banshee, Orion, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, and Beast. Just in case they close tomorrow. If the lines are like 30 mins or less I'll be good.

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I'll be happy to provide a report around then, or when I head over to the water park, whichever comes first. Though I'll spare you the FL dilemma - daily FL is sold out. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. 

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